First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Rest
Five Cents a Meal Offering This Sunday
Acolytes Return to Service
Lenten Devotional Available
Register by Sunday for Women's Retreat
It's Late Night with Student Ministries!
BAMA Black Heritage Program Sunday
What a Night!
Lectio Divina Study on Monday Mornings
Come to Wednesday Night Fellowship
Men's Breakfast Feb. 29
Faith Basics
New Members' Class Begins March 1
Candy Phelps in the Spotlight
Time to Talk on Tuesday
Noted Christian Environmentalist Speaks in Bristol
Suicide Intervention Training March 3-4
Cheerios for Fairmount
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
February 16
6th Sunday after Epiphany
Psalm 112
Romans 1:16-17
Righteous Faith
Sam Weddington
The Secret of Christ
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 143; 11:00: 105
Click here to livestream our contemporary service. You can also access past sermons and ministry videos on our YouTube account, "FPC Bristol."
Deadline & Subscriptions
Deadline for contributions is the Monday of the week of publication. To subscribe to our free e-newsletter, send an email with your name and preferred email address to


on First Presbyterian Church

February 13, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Rest
Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs... For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:1-2, 9-11, 15-16 NRSV
I cannot take credit for this "Word" this week as it was the product of our group Bible study on Monday at 11:00 a.m. Truly, the Spirit speaks when God's people come together to study scripture and to seek God's face in prayer.
I think that on a fundamental level of human experience, each and every one of us seeks rest. For some of us who are battling illness, what we want more than anything is rest from the hardship, tiredness, and pain of our condition. For others who grieve, we want rest from our heartache. For others still who struggle to hear God's voice in difficult times, what we want is the rest and comfort found in Christ's reassuring presence by the power of the Spirit.
Rest is good. It is so good, in fact, that after God created all things and saw that they were "very good" (Genesis 1:31), God himself rested from his labors on the Sabbath day. Rest is the comfort of knowing that things are as they should be. Rest is the knowledge that God's purposes of goodness, flourishing, and peace are alive and well in our lives. In a way, you might say that the trust required by that powerful word "faith" carries with it shades of rest, comfort, home, and confidence in God's provision for our lives. Taking that a step further, the deliverance, the salvation we all seek is the fully human experience for which were made of resting in God's caring arms. Jesus himself saw this when he encouraged us to consider the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28).
The writer of Hebrews sees this and then points out that our story, the human story, the Israel of God story is our unfortunate insistence on running from that rest. That rest for which we long is open to us through Christ, the writer tells us, but we often fail to reach it and receive its benefit because we, in our weakness, are not "united by faith" (v.2). Like Israel in the wilderness, we fret and worry and plan, sure we have to make provision for ourselves for tomorrow.
Good thing God is faithful despite hardheadedness. You see, the rest for which we long has been provided, an avenue into the full Sabbath for which we were made has opened up through our great high priest, Jesus the Christ. And you know the wonderful thing about him? He knows our weakness. He knows what it is to be us, and he sympathizes with our far too frequent half-heartedness. He knows us, he suffered as we do, and while we have failed the test time and again, he has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. He, and he alone, has made a way.
Because he has done this for us, because he longs to be united with us and to give us this rest, he calls to us to "approach the throne of grace with boldness" (v. 16). He wants us to call upon his name in our time of weakness and, by his mercy and grace, to give us his presence so that we might endure our own time of trial. The wonderful news is that this way, his way, is open to us today! What we are called to do is to "make every effort to enter that rest" (v.11).
Your effort need not be grand in scale, or overwhelming in affect. The only effort that is needed is to call upon his name. Thanks be to God!
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Five Cents a Meal Offering This Sunday
We will collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering this Sunday, February 16, at both services. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, or about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Your contribution will provide hunger relief through both local and global ministries. Our Five Cents a Meal offerings enable FPC to help feed the hungry in Bristol through Haven of Rest and Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, and in Ethiopia and Brazil through our missions in those countries. Please be generous!
Acolytes Return to Service
Acolytes will resume their leadership in worship this Sunday, February 16, at the 11:00 service. Our acolyte program trains children in fifth grade and higher to serve in worship. Any families who want to be involved are invited to let Pastor Sam know.
Lenten Devotional Available
You can pick up your copy of the Presbyterians Today 2020 Lenten devotional, Becoming a Beloved Community: A Matthew 25 journey to the cross, in the narthex or Fellowship Hallway. The devotions begin with Ash Wednesday, February 26. Please take only one per family.
Register by Sunday for Women's Retreat
This Sunday, February 16, is the deadline to register for our annual women's retreat in Blowing Rock, NC. We are so excited to have Jessica Stollings and her wisdom in helping us learn about different generations! We hope this retreat will encourage us as we grow together and brainstorm ways to be more intentional in sharing life with all the women in our church and the Church at large! Ladies, we need your voices, stories, and wisdom. We hope you can join us at the retreat!
It's Late Night with Student Ministries!

Student Ministries is going old school Sunday with a Late Nite of your favorite games, crafts, and trends from your childhood. We will have chicken fingers and deliciousness from Fatz. The fun takes place from 8:00 to 10:00. For more information, contact Katie Arnold at
BAMA Black Heritage Program Sunday
Rev. and Mrs. Hawkins
The Bristol Area Ministerial Alliance presents its annual Black Heritage program this Sunday, February 16, at 4:00 p.m. at Hood Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, 612 5th Street, Bristol. The guest speaker will be the Reverend Charles Hawkins, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kingsport. The public is invited to this free event.
What a Night!
I think it is safe to say that everyone had a fabulous time at the chili cook-off and talent show! Winners of the chili cook-off were Jack Richardson, crowd favorite; the Ongs, with deliciously unique chili; and the Arndts, who succeeded in making Sam sweat! Every act earned an Oscar. It was a beautiful, intergenerational night of love and laughter with our church family and friends. A huge thank-you to everyone who helped make this happen! Until next year! / Lilly Osborne

Lectio Divina Study on Monday Mornings
Pastor Sam is leading a new Bible study on Monday mornings at 11:00 in Room 123. The format is Lectio Divina, which means that we seek God's guidance on the passage for that week. It is an open, devotional discussion, and we take the time to lift prayers to God. All are invited.
Come to Wednesday Night Fellowship
Please join us Wednesday, February 19, at 5:30 for a fellowship supper, followed at 6:00 by activities for children and youth. At 6:15, Pastor Sam will lead our Adult Enrichment group in a discussion of 2  Corinthians 7 . Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together.
Men's Breakfast Feb. 29
We are happy to announce that we will host a men's breakfast in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, February 29, at 8:00 a.m. The purpose of the breakfast is to gather men together for fellowship, great food, prayer, and conversation about what else we can do to grow in Christian fellowship. Please come, and bring a friend when you do. Breakfast is free. If you are interested in coming, let us know so that we can get a preliminary head count. Call the church office or email Elder Bruce Gannaway at
Faith Basics
Beginning Sunday, March 1, Pastor Sam will teach a "Christian basics" class at 10:10 a.m. in the chapel. Families with children currently in confirmation are encouraged to come. The class will help parents build an understanding of some of the things their kids are learning, and help them carry the lessons out of church and into their home.
Families with kids who aren't eligible for our typical confirmation course, and who want them to be baptized, are also encouraged to attend with their children. The class will give parents and kids a basic introduction to central articles of faith to prepare them for baptism.
New Members' Class Begins March 1
Just in time for Lent! Dave Welch will lead a New Members' Class beginning Sunday, March 1. The class will meet in room 125 (off the Fellowship Hallway) at 10:10 for six weeks. We'll learn more about the Presbyterian Church in general and FPC in particular. We'll talk about church history, worship traditions, service and fellowship opportunities, what and why we believe, and where new members might fit in. For more information, contact Dave at
Candy Phelps in the Spotlight
Do your children enjoy the worship bags that are available during each Sunday worship service? We have a special volunteer to thank for that. This week Children's Ministries turns the spotlight on Candy Phelps. Each and every week, Candyprints and folds bulletins, sharpens pencils, and makes sure the crayons aren't broken. Thank you, Candy, for your dedication and behind-the-scenes work to provide children with worship bags each week. We appreciate you! / Lilly Osborne
Time to Talk on Tuesday
Sonny Kelly
Arts Alliance Mountain Empire invites the public to a riveting night of theater with The Talk, Tuesday, February 18, at 7:00 in Virginia Middle School Auditorium. Written and performed by Sonny Kelly, The Talk is about a father's profound love for his children and his commitment to equipping them with the faith, hope, and love they will need to thrive in a divided world.
A virtuoso communicator, performer, and facilitator, Kelly embodies more than 20 characters and thoughtfully ushers audiences into a safe space for the difficult conversations we must have if we are to pursue equity and inclusion. This eclectic experience weaves together interactive theater, a dynamic performance, and a multimedia production with the words of James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others. The performance is free. Virginia Middle School is located at 501 Piedmont Avenue in Bristol.
Noted Christian Environmentalist Speaks in Bristol
Fred Van Dyke
A leading Christian environmental conservationist, Fred Van Dyke, will be the guest speaker at a public event to coordinate environmental awareness, "For the Beauty of the Earth: Faith and Environmental Stewardship." It is the second in a series of forums to coordinate environmental awareness. It is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. March 2 in the King University student center boardroom.
Van Dyke is Executive Director of the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, which is dedicated to conservation education research, community building, and engagement of the church in the work of conservation. Van Dyke's career in environmental conservation has spanned positions in academia, government research and management, and private consulting.
His textbook on conservation biology is used internationally, and his research has been published in numerous scientific journals and books. He has written extensively on the biblical basis for environmental stewardship and on the role of the church in conservation and ecological restoration.
Suicide Intervention Training March 3-4
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, a two-day interactive program in suicide first aid, will be given in Bristol March 3 -4, from 8:00 to 5:00 each day, at a location to be determined. ASIST is for adults who want to learn how to provide suicide first aid.
Program participants will learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing the signs, providing skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan for keeping someone alive. The training is designed to teach a wide variety of community members the hands-on skills they need to intervene in a suicidal crisis. Police officers, EMTs, teachers, school administrators, social workers, counselors, clergy, and business managers have benefited from ASIST.
Seating is limited, and the cost is $25 per person. For more information or to register, contact Bristol Crisis Center at 276-466-2218 or The 24/7 hotline is 276-466-2312, and all services are free and confidential. Learn more at
Cheerios for Fairmount
We are collecting boxes of  Multi-Grain Cheerios for Fairmount Elementary students. About 80% of the children get help with lunch, but their families can't buy snacks to help them through the day. That's where we come in. Please bring your donations to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to give our young friends at Fairmount a boost on long winter days. Thank you!
Music Notes
Richard Shephard
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "The Secret of Christ" by Richard Shephard (b. 1949), an English composer, former educator, and Director of Development and Chamberlain of York Minster. He is acclaimed as one of the most significant composers of church music today. He studied with Herbert Sumsion and David Willcocks and began his career as a lay clerk in Salisbury Cathedral Choir. He has composed operas, operettas, musicals, and orchestral works but is known most for his sacred choral compositions.
"The Secret of Christ" was commissioned by the Bishop of Salisbury in 1980. The text for the work is referred to as "The Pilgrim Prayer" and was compiled by the Reverend Canon Derrick Walters. The poem is based on three sources from scripture: Isaiah 42:14-16, Revelation 22:1-3, and Colossians 4:2-4. The harmonic language of the piece is similar to that of standard Anglican composers such as R.V. Williams and C.V. Stanford. The soprano solo in the middle is sung by one of our choral scholars, Gracie Worley.
Organist's footnotes: The prelude, "Schm├╝cke dich, o liebe Seele" ("Adorn yourself, dear soul"), is one of the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, a set for organ prepared by J.S. Bach (1685 -1750) in Leipzig in his final decade from earlier works composed in Weimar, where he was court organist. The soberly ornamented but melismatic chorale melody is heard in the soprano voice, alternating with the dancelike ritornellos of the two intertwining lower parts above a pedal bass. The unearthly counterpoint between the four different parts creates an air of great serenity.
Emma Lou Diemer
The offertory is a setting by Emma Lou Diemer (b. 1927) of the hymn "I Love to Tell the Story," which was a setting by William G. Fischer (1835 -1912) of Annabelle Catherine Hankey's (1834 -1911) poem "The Old, Old Story." Hankey taught Bible classes for shop girls in London, visited the sick in local hospitals, and used the proceeds of her writings to support various mission causes. Fischer was a popular director of music at revival meetings and choral festivals in America. He composed some 200 tunes for Sunday School hymns and gospel songs. In her long career, Diemer has composed numerous works for virtually every classical genre, including orchestral, choral, organ, and electronic music. She is still composing and playing.
Craig Sellar Lang (1891-1971) was a New Zealand-born British organist, composer, and music teacher. His best-known work is the "Tuba Tune" (Opus 15), a favorite of recitalists. Lang's numerous other works for organ include a lengthy Sonata in D minor (Op. 47), the Introduction and Passacaglia in A minor (Op.51), the Fugue-Trilogy on E.G.B. (Op. 58), and many hymn preludes and sets of preludes and fugues. Lang's "Procession" (postlude) sounds like a throwback to the 19th century, at least to my 21st century ears!
Aw, c'mon, join the handbell choir! The Sanctuary Handbell Choir wants you! We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs and play for the late service about once a month. Please contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091 to join us, or just come to a Wednesday practice!
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Sujean Bradley
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Raymond Dickenson
Dorothy Dollar
Charlie Dolpp
Tristan Duncan
Sarah Ellis
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Kay Martin Grott
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Bonnie Haskins
Lou Hebb
Hertzog family
Vivian Hill
Rita Holifield
Luke Jenkins
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Peggy King
Nancy Lilly
Sergio Lopez
Dot Mattison
Lisa May
Kelly Mayden & family
Roger McCracken
Bob Millard
Eric Moffett
Alice Moore
Breanna Necessary
Eric Page
Meg Rice & mother
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
John Scott
Grayson Smith & family
Bill Thomas's family
John & Karen Vann
Courtney Vermillion
Bill Wade
Ying Kang Wei
Nancy Whitesides
Vicky Wood
Erin Yates
To the Church Triumphant
James Hubert "Jim" Mayden
February 5, 2020
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Feb. 16     Matt Williams
Feb. 18     Sophie Arnold, Josh Kite, Bob Tate
Feb. 19     Bob Millard
Feb. 21     Davis Akard, Peggy Rutherford
Feb. 22     Mary Lynn Connor, Elizabeth Patrick, Dillon Pendley
Church Calendar
Sunday, February 16
9:00 a.m.        Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:15 p.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
4:00 p.m.       Evangelism & Outreach Comm., Room 117
8:00 p.m.       Student Late Nite, Fellowship Hall
Monday, February 17
11:00 a.m.     Lectio Divina Study, Room 123
Tuesday, February 18
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, February 19
9:30 a.m.        Women's Bible Study, Room 117
4:30 p.m.       Women's Retreat Comm., Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 37
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Gathering
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
6:15 p.m.       Adult Enrichment
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Choir, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
Thursday, February 20
7:00 a.m.        Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, February 21
Women's Retreat, Blowing Rock
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Anna L. Booher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Bruce Gannaway
David Hyde
John Graham
Will Hankins
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Dottie Havlik
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Laura Ong
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
Mike Cleland
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Geneva King
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
George Linke
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Charlie Taylor
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth
Nancy Cook